Sturgeon River-Side Lake to CR 766

Side Lake, Minnesota 55781

Sturgeon River-Side Lake to CR 766

Sturgeon River-Side Lake to CR 766 Professional Review and Guide

"This marshy, winding section of stream makes for a pleasant day trip with a good chance of spotting waterfowl and shorebirds.

The first section, beginning at Side Lake, is slow and placid, winding by marsh and forest. Its course is exceedingly sinuous. Rarely can you see very far ahead. For this reason, it’s a great stream for surprising waterfowl and shorebirds such as great blue herons. Right before the end of the trip, the Shannon River joins from the south. It’s possible to ascend the Shannon as far south as Shannon Lake for more opportunities to watch critters and do some fishing for big northern pike and largemouth bass."

Sturgeon River-Side Lake to CR 766 Reviews

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This was a nice easy afternoon paddle - we put in at the McCarthy State Park boat launch on Side Lake. It took us just about 3 hours of easy paddling to get from there to where we took out - just before the rapids at the road 766 bridge. Note that the section between where the Shannon river joins up with the Sturgeon and where the rapids start there are some large rocks in the river to watch out for. There is a small parking area on road 766 (small dirt state forest road) for a hiking trailhead. Nice calm water with many bends - saw quite a few waterfowl, and a river otter. The water was a bit high when we went, which was necessary to get over some of the partial beaver dams. If the water was any lower we would have had a little bit of trouble getting over at least one of them - if the beavers are active this summer, it might be more difficult in the future. Nice 60 degree day was perfect with a little breeze - no bugs and not too hot. There isn't a lot of shade on this section of the river, so be prepared!

Sturgeon River-Side Lake to CR 766 Photos

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Trail Information

Side Lake
Nearby City
Skill Level
3-4 hours
Class I
Fishing, Birding
Additional Use
Superior National Forest (, LaCroix Ranger District: (218) 666-0020. The upper reaches of the river lie within the national forest, although the Sturgeon is not promoted as a state water trail.
Local Contacts
PRIM Vermilion Lake; USGS Side Lake, Dewey Lake NW; DeLorme: Minnesota Atlas & Gazetteer: Pages 74 B4; 75 B5
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018